Customizing the Ribbon bar

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Customizing the Ribbon bar

In addition to customizing the Quick Access toolbar up here, Excel allows you to customize the entire Ribbon bar. This is a new feature in Excel 2010 and it works the same way in all of the other Office 2010 applications. And I think you'll like this. There are a couple of ways to customize the Ribbon bar. Let me show you one way. You go over here to the File tab and you click it. Go down here at the bottom to Options and in all the categories here, choose Customize Ribbon. Now let's cancel out of here for a second because there's a faster way of doing this.

Regardless of which tab you have visible, click your right-mouse button so we're on the Ribbon and then from the pop-up menu choose Customize the Ribbon. So let me explain what's going on here. On the right side are all of the tabs that are available in Excel on your computer. On the left side are all the commands and the tabs in Excel's inventory. So most of the tabs are probably turned on. You may have a tab that's turned off. In my case, the Developer tab is turned off, but before we start adding and removing things from the tab, let's say you simply wanted to reorder what's on the tab.

Maybe you're doing a lot of collaboration and you decide that you want the Review tab moved to the top. So you can select it and click the Up arrow or you can simply grab it with your mouse and drag it to the top. Now click OK and now you see the Review tab is the first tab instead of the Home tab. You can click it and it's the same Review tab you know and love. I'm just going to go back to the Home tab here. Well, once again right-click somewhere on the Ribbon bar, go down here to Customize, and I'm just going to drag this out of the way here for a second, because I want to bring your attention to the groups here in the Ribbon bar.

If you don't have the Home tab open, you can open it and take a look here. These are the groups. So we have Clipboard, Font, Alignment, Number and so on, and that's what it's showing you here. Clipboard, Font, Alignment. And if you expand any of these by clicking the plus sign you can see the items that are in there. You notice they're grayed out and they're grayed out because you cannot customize a built-in group on the Ribbon bar. Excel just does not let you to that. So what if we wanted to add just a single command to one of our existing tabs? Well, let's do this.

Let's click this drop-down arrow here where it says Popular Commands by default, and let's go down here and choose Tool Tabs and in the Tool Tabs list, let's go down here to Drawing Tools and let's open up Insert Shapes. Now let's say you decide that maybe you need to insert text boxes often. Now if you tick that text box and you hit Add, it's going to give you an error because you can't add this text box or any single command just to the Ribbon bar. But what you can do is you can take this Insert Shapes group and add the group to the Home tab.

So select the Insert Shapes group, click Add, and now that gets added to your Home tab. And just like with the tabs themselves, you could reorder the groups so you could hit the up arrow or maybe take it and drag it up. So I'm going to leave Insert Shapes at the top of the Home tab. Click OK and there it is, as though it were born there. So I'm just going to right-click and now let's go back to customizing. But what if you really did want to insert single commands? What you can do is you can create your own groups under existing tabs.

You could also create an entire new tab and that's what I'm going to show you here. With the Home tab selected, click New Group and you see it's called New Group and select it and click Rename because we want to have maybe a more friendly name and let's call it Miscellaneous Tools and click OK. So now we could go back to this drop- down list, go down here to tool Tabs, go back to Drawing Tools.

Go back to Insert Shapes. Now remember we really, really wanted that text box. Well, with these Misc Tools selected, you can select that text box, click Add and now it gets added. Let's add a couple of other tools. Maybe let's open up Word Art Styles and choose Text Fill and Add. Maybe Format Text Effects and Add. And let's say you like SmartArt so maybe we'll go up to Design and if you're working a lot with SmartArt maybe you're changing their layouts. So I'll choose Change Layout and add that.

Now, I'll click OK and there you see your Misc Tools are here and click text box and now you can draw one. I'm just going to press Ctrl+Z to undo. We don't really need that here. So let's go back into the Customize dialog box, click your right-mouse button and go back to customize the ribbon. So what if you want to create your own tab from scratch? Go down over here and click New Tab and see it gives you a new tab with a new group. Well, let's give it a name. This time I'll right-click it and choose Rename and I'll call this Bob's Faves and click OK and I'll tkae this new group and I'll right-click it and rename it and I'll call it maybe Important Stuff and click OK.

Now we can go and populate the tab and we can populate the group. So go to that down arrow and here's a really handy item. Commands not in the Ribbon. These are commands you really don't see very often and let's say you need to insert page breaks a lot. So let's scroll down here to the letter I because page breaks are things that you insert. Make sure your Important Stuff group is selected. Choose Insert Page Break and click Add and now it's added. Maybe let's put one more thing in. I'll scroll down here and let's say you often need to email your workbooks to someone.

So I'll choose this Send to Mail Recipient and click Add and that gets added. What if we want to insert groups that already exist? So let's go up to this drop-down list and let's go down to Main Tabs. So these are Excel's general default tabs and maybe let's open up Page Layout and maybe Page Setup is something you use often. So select Page Setup, click Add, and you see Page Setup as a pre-made group will co-exist with Important Stuff so you'll have an Important Stuff group and you'll have a Page Setup group.

Maybe let's put in one more. Maybe I'll go the View tab and you like using Workbook Views and we've talked about Workbook Views in this course. So I'll choose Workbook View, click Add, so that's another group. Okay, that's fine, click OK. So now you have your Custom tab, click it, and here are the individual commands you added and here are the two pre-made groups that you added and they both work just the same way as they would if you went to them the normal way, but it's just a little more convenient. In fact, let's use one.

I'll just click a cell here and Insert Page Break and now you can see the lines in there so you know that really did insert a page break. Now let's say you do all these customizations on your computer and you need to do the same customizations on multiple computers. Maybe you're supporting a department and you need to put the same customizations on maybe two dozen computers. Now you could be there all night going through the same customization routine over and over again. So, what you can do is you could save these customizations as a profile and then import that profile on to all the machines. So that could save you loads and loads of time.

Here's how you do that. Again right-click anywhere on the Ribbon bar and choose Customize the Ribbon and down over here choose Import or Export. Choose Export all customizations, give it a name if you need, and you notice that the extension is .exportedUI User Interface, and click Save. So let's say you've done that and now you're at another computer and you want to load the customizations. Simply go over here to Import/Export, choose Import customizations file, and then you can simply double-click that profile that you created before.

I'm just going to cancel out. Well, just one last thing. What if you've made all these customizations and you decide you want to remove all of them? Go down over here to Reset > Reset All Customizations and if you reset all customizations, it'll wipe out all the customizations you made to the Ribbon bar and the Quick Access toolbar so it'll make Excel look like it did when you first installed it. Now make sure that's what you really want to do because there is no undo for this. So I'll click Yes, click OK, and now my Ribbon bar is back to the default.

My Quick Access toolbar is back to the default. So as you're using Excel you might want to think about what commands you use a lot and then go and customize Excel and save yourself a bit of time and effort.

Customizing the Ribbon bar
Video duration: 8m 44s 6h 21m Beginner


Customizing the Ribbon bar provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Bob Flisser as part of the Excel 2010 Essential Training

Business Education + Elearning
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